Huge boost in FC ratings

Holy Batman! The double-digit jump in property valuations for the City of Falls Church announced yesterday is the biggest in more than a decade, since before the Great Recession hit in 2008 and some city council members hit by the press yesterday are thrilled that the new revenue this will generate will ensure the City continues its commitment to quality education and nationally recognized quality of life services for its citizens, which will make things better in many important ways over the of the coming year.

Certainly Mayor David Tarter’s important remarks to the FC Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, as reported in this edition, set a positive tone in reporting the kind of results that good local government has achieved here, as stated by the adviser David Snyder in comments to the News-Presse yesterday, “create a place where people want to be”. The valuation report released yesterday certainly reflects that, representing the biggest one-year jump for the city since 2004, when they nearly doubled.

Of course, the Council will be tasked, when drawing up the city’s budget for next year, which must be finally approved on May 2, to offer serious compensatory elements, such as a generous reduction in the rate taxation and other mitigating factors, to protect city residents. of the total impact on their tax bill of what happened. It is currently operating on the idea that a rate cut as high as four cents would be within the parameters set earlier this year, but that was before the new assessments got as high as they did. Some Council members caution that no early predictions on tax rate reductions should be made until there is a serious review of what the City should fund on behalf of all of its citizens, such as Council member Debbie Shantz-Hiscott told the News-Press. Given this well-considered aspect, we will have to wait and see what kinds of proposals Council members will come up with.

But Council member Phil Duncan said the big leap “creates a tremendous opportunity…to meet all reasonable expenses for our schools and general government while significantly reducing the rate of property tax” which he would like to see $1.32 rise. currently (down from $1.335 a year ago) to $1.25, and to expand tax relief and tax deferral options for seniors. But he touted that the city’s total real estate value, topping $5 billion for the first time, “is due to the city’s continued commitment to economic development, great neighborhoods and community excellence. public education and municipal services.

It will challenge the Council, which is now tackling the issue of affordable housing, in a way it has not been before, with more serious efforts to make the city a truly diverse and welcoming people of varying incomes and abilities to afford the heavy taxes they will have to pay to live here. Let’s see what new practical ideas they come up with.



Jerry B. Hatch